Directorate of Disaster Management
Disasters and Emergencies often strike without notice. Preparation before disaster strikes is vital in ensuring that communities have the necessary training, know where to go, and know how to keep themselves safe when an emergency occurs.
Volunteers of the Nigerian Red Cross Society stand by to evacuate survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Lagos. Nigeria.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society is a First Responder at Emergency situations and often works with partners like the National Emergency Management Authority and the Federal Road Safety Corps to carry out Search and Rescue operations at Accidents and Emergencies.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society also strengthens its preparedness capacity both at the headquarters and branch levels by ensuring that its backup plans are put together. These plans must be on time, effectively coordinated and respond to emergencies.
Disaster Risk Reduction
In the past, dealing with disasters only focused on emergency response, but now we realize that it is only by reducing and managing conditions of hazard, exposure and vulnerability that we can prevent losses and alleviate the impacts of disasters.
Volunteers carry out Search and Rescue activities after flooding in Lokoja, Nigeria
Since it is almost impossible to reduce the severity of natural hazards, the main opportunity for reducing risk lies in lessening vulnerability and exposure. Reducing these two components of risk requires identifying and reducing the underlying drivers of risk, which are particularly related to poor economic and urban development choices and practice, degradation of the environment, poverty, inequality and climate change, which create and exacerbate conditions of hazard, exposure and vulnerability.
Volunteer conducts search sand rescue exercise for survivors of flood.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society will intensify efforts to keep records of situation reports usually shared by branches across Nigeria and raise awareness among at risk communities to reduce the impact of disaster to a minimum.
Cash Transfer Programming (CTP)
Experience has taught us that people caught up in crisis, conflict or disaster all have peculiar needs. So giving them food or non food items may not quite cut it for them. So at the Nigerian Red Cross Society, we have decided to organize Cash Transfer Programming for vulnerable people as this gives them the freedom to attend to their most pressing individual priorities.
A beneficiary waits to collect her Cash at a Cash Voucher Assistance Programme
In order for beneficiaries to access this CTP, they must be:
• The poorest of the poor (people struggling to feed)
• Poorest of Widows
• People living with Disabilities (PLWDAs)
• Poorest Child headed Household
• Poorest Pregnant and lactating mothers
• Aged (60 years above)
• Sick household head (Bedridden)
• Household with concentration of children with less or no source of income
• IDPs and Refugees
Interestingly, the NRCS capacity for provision of CTP has been strengthened over the years. CTP cuts across all programmes and reduces the amount of time spent on procurement, warehousing, logistics and distribution in-kind. Indeed we are proud to share our success stories on CTP over the years and should be able to reach beneficiaries within a limited time following the onset of disasters. To this effect, a constant evaluation of needs and the functionality of facilities within affected areas will be periodically carried out to enhance decision making as it affects the general public.
Restoring/Maintaining Family Links (RFL/MFL)
Due to either man-made or natural crisis , conflict or disasters, families get separated. This can be highly traumatic and devastating and robs family members of closure as they do not know if their loved ones are deceased or somewhere out there.
Indeed the Nigerian Red Cross continues to restore and maintain several broken family links across the country and beyond since the beginning of the effort in 2015.
Volunteer interacts with beneficiary of ‘Restoring Family Links- programme
In the same vein, it will continue to ensure that the dignity of the family is maintained by ensuring that families remain together through its RFL activities either as NRCS or with the support of movement partners. In line with the needs identified, NRCS will launch both RFL/MFL activities from planning stage where necessary.
Right now the NRCS participates in a partnership with Radio France International and the International Committee of the Red Cross. RFI created a Radio Program that seeks to reunite families with missing relatives. The programme is broadcast in the North East and links Internally Displaced Persons with their relatives.
Community First Aid (CFA)
Based on 2022 figures, the Nigerian Medical Association says that Nigeria’s ratio of Doctors to Patients stands at about 1: 30-45,000 depending on whether you were in an urban or rural area.
Volunteers disembark at a riverine community where they intend to demonstrate Community First Aid
The Nigerian Red Cross Society uses Community First Aid to bridge this yawning gap. The overall objective of Community First Aid is a reduction in mortality and morbidity due to injury or sudden illnesses in Nigeria. This is achieved by increasing the capacity and quality of CFA services in the various selected branches and communities that are highly prone to road side accidents, as well as rural communities without health facilities in Nigeria.
NRCS strengthens the resilience of communities to save the lives of injured persons and stabilize conditions before further medical support arrives. The targets of CFA are usually hard to reach communities based on the priority of need for such intervention. The NRCS continues to strengthen existing capacity. It trains Master Trainers of Branches in line with the Trainers' Development Guidelines of the IFRC Global First Aid Reference Centre (GFARC).
Volunteer demonstrates technique for implementing Cardiac Pulmonary Massage (CPR) on a dummy
There are step down trainings at Branches. The CFA Trainers are engaged in training community volunteers, Red Cross members and staff, Road Users, Federal Road Safety Corps and Security Agencies and Commercial CFA clients for effective service delivery.
The quality of Community First Aid education is improved by institutionalizing CFA as a core activity and expanding the use of evidence-based materials, and professional teaching tools.
CFA skills are also upgraded through the introduction of quality control and evaluation methods.
Weapon Contamination (WeC)
The objective of weapon contamination is to remove war remnants in order to prevent further injury and loss of life. The NRCS in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has trained over 50 volunteers within the North Eastern states of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno.
Our volunteers continue to identify explosive ordinance and train beneficiaries on the identification and removal of such harmful objects. The NRCS intends to expand her WeC response activities across the country by training more volunteers, identifying and reporting explosive ordinances and creating awareness to ensure local people's ability to identify such explosives is strengthened to a large extent.